Freda M. Raker, 85

NOV. 15, 1926-NOV. 1, 2012

November 01, 2012
  • Raker

Freda M. Raker, 85, of McConnellsburg, Pa., passed away Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, at her home with her family by her side. 

Born Nov. 15, 1926, in Saltillo, Pa., she was the daughter of the late Gerald and Ivy (Gress) Raker. 

After graduating from Huntingdon Business School, Freda worked for the E.I. Dupont Co. in Deepwater, N.J., as an executive secretary from 1950 to 1972. In 1973, along with her longtime friend Helen Overly, they started Overly-Raker Inc., where Freda served as vice president and creative director/designer until the company was sold in 1996. Overly-Raker Inc. was a worldwide distributor and the largest manufacturer of soft sculpture gift items on the East Coast, employing as many as 200 people in the Fulton County area.

Freda was very involved in Fulton County, working in the background in many civic organizations. Though she had many business accomplishments, her family was her most important priority. Freda was a self-taught artist, sculptor and designer, with many of her paintings displayed in homes in Fulton County. 

Freda is survived by her sister, Doris "Dorie" Fell of St. Thomas, Pa.; her longtime friend and business partner, Helen I. Overly of McConnellsburg, Pa.; six nieces and nephews, Kathrine (wife of Brentley) Gamble of McConnellsburg, Clifford (husband of Barbara) Hawkins Jr. of Mill Creek, Pa., Christopher (husband of Pamela) Hawkins of Smyrna, Del., Mark Fell of Chambersburg, Pa., Jason (husband of Linda) Fell of Old Town, Maine, and Martin (husband of Donna) Fell of Bangor, Maine. Freda is also survived by numerous great-nieces and great-nephews, Jonathan Fell, Jenna Fell, Jason Fell Jr., Jocelyn Gamble, Justin Gamble, Bradley Hawkins, James Hawkins, Stephania Hawkins and Stefan Hawkins; and three great-great-nieces and -nephews, Caleb Gamble, Garrett Hawkins and Paige Gamble. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, Gerald and Ivy Raker; and one sister, Barbara Hawkins Moser.

Funeral services will be Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, at 11 a.m. at McConnellsburg United Methodist Church. Interment will be at Union Cemetery, with the Rev. John Godissart officiating.

Visitation will be Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, from 4 to 8 p.m. at McConnellsburg United Methodist Church.   

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Fulton County Medical Center Foundation, 214 Peach Orchard Road, McConnellsburg, PA 17233 or McConnellsburg United Methodist Church, c/o New Building Fund, 121 N. Second St., McConnellsburg, PA 17233. 

Kelso-Cornelius Funeral Home, 322 N. Second St., McConnellsburg, is handling the arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at

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